I’ve always been a fan of all things Korean. From getting into K-dramas early as a kid, to eventually falling into the trapdoor of K-pop as soon as I became a teen. Everything K related automatically falls under interests.
So when I heard that one of my favorite Pop Fiction authors, fallenbabybubu (the pen name of author Louisse Carreon), released a Korean-slash-Japanese young adult fiction book titled Soulmate, I knew I just had to read it and immerse myself in her beautifully written work that’s filled with signature badass characters, countless kilig-much moments, and more.
Soulmate is about the crazy little thing called… no, not love, but fate! An inevitable phenomenon, bound to happen whether you like it or not. Our leads Yuki and Jin-Yeong meet in a chance encounter, and fate picks it up from there. It ties their lives together, but will it prove soulmates are real?
Yuki and Jin-yeong take us around Seoul and during their brief five-day tour, they discover the similarities and the undeniable pull that brings them together. Then, they finally meet up again in Japan after three years. Here, the connection they shared prior in Seoul solidifies into a deeper understanding of how their lives are intertwined by the magical strings of fate.
After reading it in one sitting (literally!), here is everything that I definitely loved and enjoyed about the two-part book, Soulmate.
You can freely experience Korea and Japan every time you turn the page
Since we’re all encouraged to stay at home, and travel isn’t really the most practical thing to do right now, being able to read about the beautiful cities of Korea and Japan made this such an immersive read for me.
Carreon has a way of writing about Korea’s famous landmarks that makes you feel like you’re there, right in that exact moment, with her characters. If you’re as much of a K-drama addict like me, your imagination will fill in the gaps, and the 5-day Seoul itinerary throughout the entire first book will feel like an actual trip to Korea.
Diving into another country’s unique culture is also another treat about this book. From getting to know the yakuza and their complex strings of influence in the Japanese hierarchy to the deliberate display of culture through language and practice, readers get a peek into a whole new world.
Badass characters? This book’s got you covered
One of the things I love about Carreon’s writing is her consistency in crafting interesting characters. Yuki is a badass. She’s pampered and protected all her life, but this privilege only made her want to be independent and stronger.
In fact, I loved this character so much, it also became one of the things I disliked about the book, because I started wishing I could be as badass as Yuki. As I read each chapter, all I could think of every time Yuki surprises Jin-yeong with her wit, confidence, and strength is how I’m the total opposite of her—awkward, socially anxious, and a huge klutz.
Our male lead doesn’t fall far behind the badass category as well. Aside from his swoon-worthy moments, this guy can take down an entire five-man gang in a fistfight and come out unscathed. Badass, right?!
You’ll want to believe in soulmates
Soulmate culture is overrated, but this book makes you wish there’s actually someone out there who is meant to be your destined other—the half to your whole, and the Jin-yeong to your Yuki. Soulmate’s story will bring out the believer in you. You begin to believe in destiny, and slowly find yourself falling in love with the thought of a serendipitous encounter with your special someone.
Fan of anything K-related or not, anyone who loves a quick feel-good young adult read will definitely enjoy this book. Overall, Soulmate has the right amount of toe-curling romance, appropriately motivated characters who are very fun to read, and a story that teaches us the value of family, time, and destiny. Safe to say: Once you pick up this book, you’ll have a hard time putting it down.